LG Electronics hosted the final round of the 11th Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) last week. The two-day event saw inspiring, young participants from all over the world test their skills for computer-based activities in a series of timed challenges. Adopting a hybrid online and offline format, several key participating countries including Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam set up venues locally as well.
Following the success of the GITC’s preliminary round in August, registrations were high for the competition’s last stage. Ultimately, more than 320 participants from 16 countries were invited to join in the final round which was held online. After competing in four challenges – eTool, eLifeMap, eContent and eCreative – the young contestants gathered both in-person and online for an awards ceremony that acknowledged this year’s winners while also allowing everyone to come together and share experiences.
The eTool challenge tests entrants’ ability to make and edit presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint and utilize functions and formulae to calculate and organize data in Microsoft Excel. eLifeMap involves conducting advanced text and image searches online to solve daily problems, while eContent evaluates one’s capacity to create and edit videos dealing with a specific topic. Lastly, the eCreative challenge, which is divided into two sections, tasks participants with coding a self-driving car program (eCreative_SmartCar) and with developing an idea for technology to make life more convenient for persons with disabilities (eCreative_IoT).
LG Corporation, in conjunction with South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, has been leading the GITC since 2011. The program was established to help youth with disabilities by bridging the digital gap, enhancing their ability to utilize IT to improve their employment and higher education opportunities. Run by LG Electronics and the GITC Organizing Committee, and now in its eleventh year, the competition has attracted a total of around 4,000 young participants to date.
Using the GITC as a stepping stone for academic and professional pursuits, participants have continued to challenge themselves to accomplish their dreams after the competition. Faiza Pulri Adila from Indonesia, who won the all-around championship in the 2018 GITC, is studying nanotechnology engineering at Airlangga University in Indonesia. In addition, Cheenmanee Tnanapon from Thailand, the first person with developmental disabilities to win the all-round championship in the 2016 GITC, is taking the lead in raising disability awareness by appearing on popular Thai TV programs.
“I’ve worked very hard for many days with my friends for the competition because I thought this opportunity was perfect for me to keep pushing myself to improve my skills,” said Varinporn Thongjamnong, a 19-year-old from Thailand and winner of all-around championship in the 2022 Global IT Challenge. “I’m honored to be this year’s Global IT Winner, which I’m confident will motivate me to study even harder to achieve my dreams.”
“Technologies can help all of us to overcome obstacles in our daily lives and is something of a universal language that transcends borders, culture and many other differences,” said Kim In-kyu, chairman of the GITC Organizing Committee. “We hope that the wonderful young people who entered this year’s competition feel motivated and empowered to take on even greater challenges in the future.”
As highlighted in LG’s Better Life Plan 2030, the GITC is one of the company’s many initiatives in the key areas of accessibility and inclusion. LG is investing heavily in future generations as part of its comprehensive social contribution framework, and will continue to operate various events and programs specifically designed to assist and support the next generation of leaders by strengthening their skills and capabilities.